When you finally decide to tackle a remodeling project, the last thing you want to do is make mistakes along the way that cost you. Construction Director Mark Livesay outlines the top three mistakes he sees people make when they begin the process of remodeling a home, and what you can do to avoid these missteps!
Not Doing Your Due Diligence
Arguably the most important thing you need to do before tackling a home improvement project is to do your due diligence on both the products you’re using and the company you’re working with. Research the best products that will meet your needs for both function and design. Do you think hardwood floors would be wonderful in your home? Perhaps...but only if you’re ready to commit to the maintenance required in caring for them. I've seen time and again homeowners who regret the investment because of pets, grandkids, proximity to water, you name it. The vinyl they're making these days looks so much like hardwood that it's nearly impossible to tell the difference (unless you're John Kautz!).
Furthermore, you will want to work with a company who is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and a true partner throughout the process. It is important to find a company that carefully listens to your wants and needs, addresses your concerns, and is genuinely excited to help you achieve your design goal. To ensure you find the best partner, choose a home remodeler who is a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), a nonprofit organization with strict standards of practice and a code of ethics for all member remodelers. You’ll also want to work with a company who has been in business for a while, which means they’ve built a business based on referrals and reputation. Finally, look for a company who has positive reviews on Houzz.com, whose star-based ratings are determined directly by customer feedback. We've undertaken projects during which we uncover questionable workmanship by previous remodelers. Honestly, some of these things have been quite dangerous, including poorly supported second floor additions, and electrical panels installed inappropriately.
Not Understanding Your Budget
This comes into play in two ways. The first, is not being knowledgeable about what it can cost or will cost to tackle the project at hand, and experiencing some sticker shock. The second, is not knowing what you could (or should!) afford as it relates to both your budget and the value of your home.
According to Remodeling magazine, in 2017, the average major kitchen remodel in the Chicago area cost nearly $75,000, and upscale major kitchen remodels averaged around $139,000! Minor kitchen remodels averaged $25,000 in this area, and bathrooms averaged $25,000 to update.
More importantly, know when to splurge and when to save. If you have a $400,000 home, you likely won’t want to spend $150,000 on a custom gourmet kitchen, as you likely wouldn’t recoup your investment upon selling. Be sure the company you partner with honors not only your budget, but also your investment in the project.
Underestimating Your Timeline
Home improvement projects take a lot more time than most people realize. When you think about the process – from drafting the plans, to choosing your materials, to demolition, and finally construction – it’s quite the mountain to climb! Construction can stretch out over months at a time, overtaking holidays, birthdays, and vacations so you’ll want to have a realistic timeline when tackling your project. Usually, we tell our clients that projects can take about six months. That's three months to design and three months to build.
Furthermore, construction projects are bound to have some surprises along the way that may cause delays. To help control how much time your home is under construction, it’s helpful to go to a one-stop shop to select all your materials and have a trusted quarterback overseeing the project. Choosing a company that has a seamless process to move through each step of your project can also greatly cut down on your timeline.
There are endless possibilities for creating your dream home, and OHi has been helping families in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs remodel their homes since we founded our family business in 1900. Our expert team members will help you find design inspiration and carry out your vision. We’ve been improving our neighborhood one home at a time through expert advice, exclusive products, and exceptional service. Check out our portfolio, or contact us to speak with an OHi family member about your remodel!